"I worked hard this off-season to get my legs and core in shape," says Mauer, 23, who after batting .347 last season, signed a four year, $33 million deal. "This is probably the best I've ever felt coming into a spring."
As soon as I picked up a bat [at two], I didn't let go," says the St. Paul native (center, at six, between brothers Bill, left, and Jake) who once had a temper. "When I got mad, I used to growl at people."
"One thing I miss about football," says Mauer, who quarterbacked St. Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall to a high school state title in 1999, "is when the band plays before a game and everyone is getting excited. I seriously considered football at the college level."
"My agent said that being drafted Number 1 overall would change my life forever," says Mauer, shown here on the day the Twins selected him. "Things like privacy and you're always under the microscope. Everybody was wondering what kind of car I would get. I'm not a flashy guy. I got a Chevy truck."
"After I got drafted [on June 5] I went to my high school for a press conference. Then I changed and went out and played in our section final game. I went 3 for 3 and went to bed. It was just go, go the whole day."